Articles tagged "New York Times Book Review’s “10 Best Books of 2017” list"

NYTBR’s 10 Best Books of 2017 & Editor’s Picks

HOORAY! Two nonfiction titles made the New York Times Book Review‘s “10 Best Books of 2017” list and five more (plus two honorable mentions) are New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2017!

LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
A former public defender in Washington, Forman has written a masterly account of how a generation of black officials, beginning in the 1970s, wrestled with recurring crises of violence and drug use in the nation’s capital. What started out as an effort to assert the value of black lives turned into an embrace of tough-on-crime policies — with devastating consequences for the very communities those officials had promised to represent. Forman argues that dismantling the American system of mass incarceration will require a new understanding of justice, one that emphasizes accountability instead of vengeance.

PRAIRIE FIRES: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
Fraser’s biography of the author of “Little House on the Prairie” and other beloved books about her childhood during the era of westward migration captures the details of a life — and an improbable, iconic literary career — that has been expertly veiled by fiction. Exhaustively researched and passionately written, this book refreshes and revitalizes our understanding of Western American history, giving space to the stories of Native Americans displaced from the tribal lands by white settlers like the Ingalls family as well as to the travails of homesteaders, farmers and everyone else who rushed to the West to extract its often elusive riches. Ending with a savvy analysis of the 20th-century turn toward right-wing politics taken by Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, Fraser offers a remarkably wide-angle view of how national myths are shaped.

Dwight Garner

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